quill.gif (3183 bytes) Consorts X v. Société Y , Cour de Cassation, Ass. Plén. 12.07.2000 Bull. Civ., 2000

Facts: the applicant was a French lieutenant who participated in the war in Algeria. The defendant was a weekly magazine which published an article on the war led by France in Algeria in it stated that the applicant used torture against prisoners in Algeria.

Complaint: relying on article 1382 Code Civil, the applicant brought a suit against the magazine and the author of the article for reparation of the harm caused to him and his family. The Court of Appeal of Paris ruled against the plaintiff on September 17, 1997. The Plaintiff appealed to the Cour de Cassation.

Holding: the Cour de Casssation held that article 1382 Code Civil did not apply and that the ground was unfounded. It upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Reasoning: article 1382 Code civil did not apply to grant reparation for abuses of the freedom of expression. Claims relating to freedom of expression must be brought under the Law of July 29, 1881 on the Liberty of the Press. In particular, article 34(1) of that Law covered the claim at hand about the publication of the defamatory statements by the defendant. Article 1382 of the Code Civil did not apply and the claimant had no right to claim reparation under that article

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